While hanging on for dear life after being shot in the head in the line of duty, Dayton Police Officer Thadeu Holloway demonstrated incomparable heroism in protecting the public from being shot by the same madman in one of Dayton, Ohio’s most dangerous and notorious neighborhoods. That he had the presence of mind to do so with arterial blood spurting from his head, sets him far apart from almost all planetary beings and in the very same class as those who have been the recipient of the Medal of Honor. On the police side of the house, he has been so necessarily honored as this nation’s Top Cop, as well as the police officer selected for America’s Citizen’s Choice Award, to name only a very few of the major honors bestowed. Unfortunately, the toll of his injuries has cost him both his law enforcement and military careers. This first-person account of an officer involved shooting is as gripping as it is both horrifying and stunning. I was among the hordes of police officers standing vigil in the ER of Miami Valley Hospital’s Level One Trauma Center that night, watching the miracle of his survival of a near-fatal shooting take place. I will take this experience to my grave. Blessed are those who lay down their lives for their friends without hesitation.
Former Army SGT Jerrod Osborne, now a Springfield (Ohio) Police Officer is also one of my personal heroes. Little did I realize, when I was first introduced to him, that we were likely together in Yusifiyah, Iraq (in the Sunni Triangle of Death) in the spring of 2005, where even psychologists had their own sectors of fire, one slept with one weapon attached to each leg, and body bags were plentiful. His uniquely powerful piece is a tribute to the young life of a dear friend and fellow Soldier so unnecessarily lost in time of war and to the devastating loss of self and who we once were. The losses in time of war remain incalculable.
Dr. Louise Gaston’s formidable letter to the American Psychological Association was
a must-include in this issue. Both of us have treated countless victims of trauma, with supposed evidence-based practices being misappropriated on the masses without regard for the safety and well-being of the patient/client. I have witnessed this failure to tailor the intervention to the patients’ needs, psychological stability, mental status, among many other factors, before determining the very best course of action for each individual patient. Therapeutic choices for PTSD have become a popularity contest, resulting in serious psychological damage on a widespread basis and, even worse, innumerable suicides.
In his brilliant article regarding the unsung heroes of the chaplaincy, Dr. Jeff Jernigan takes the reader on a journey through the moral crises faced by chaplains on the world’s stage and through human disasters largely unknown to the population at large. He introduces us to the exceedingly difficult experience of trudging through compassion fatigue and moral injury, chaplains all too often being thrust into the role of first responders themselves, and all while being faced with complete physical and psychological collapse. In the face of profound loss, we must not overlook the fact that untreated and ignored, the consequences may have a devastating impact on those called to do this work. Dr. Jernigan oversees worldwide missions involving interventions for those impacted by mass violence and both manmade and natural disasters on a global scale. These are ordinarily at the invitation of Ministries of Health, Education, or Defense internationally, or our own State Department or DOD.
The Left of Bang concept has become a topic of enormous importance in the law enforcement community in terms of confronting both the demands and emotional devastation of policework. Following the Left of Bang principles created originally as the basis for the United States Marine Corp’s Combat Hunter Program, nationally renowned police psychologist Dr. Marla Friedman, a leading expert in all things police-related, has applied these same principles to law enforcement, providing our readers a critical plan of action to promote mental well-being and resiliency at entirely new levels that can be no less than life-altering.
Back once again to remind us of the vital role of Post-Traumatic Growth in healing, Dr. Ron Rubenezer reminds our readers that recovery from trauma and tragedy and from terrible struggles and suffering can readily lead to renewed strength, wisdom, and rather massive personal growth. Brokenness need never be a permanent state of mind or functioning. His simple, yet profound principles and wisdom for adapting and overcoming have tremendously wide applicability to military, Veteran, and first responder populations.
We are most fortunate to welcome to our library of exceptional and accomplished authors, Brandon LaGreca, licensed acupuncturist and prominent, nationally certified expert in Oriental medicine. His own survival from stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is testament to his credibility and extensive knowledge base. This is a not-to-be-missed read. His conceptualization of stress responsivity and stress resilience at measurable levels far exceeds all things notable. Pay close attention!
In the interest of maximizing health, another of our new and much-sought-after authors, US Air Force Veteran and COL (RET) Rabbi Schwartzman, leads us through his pathway to grace through his deeply reflective awareness for living simply with antidotes to stressful living that we, as humans on the run, so readily overlook.
We are so immensely grateful to each of our authors for their magnificent contributions, each of whom have lead to our current 11,000 subscribers to this publication, and many more online readers. Thank you, one and all.
With all the blessings and gratitude that can be mustered for our community of authors, readers, Veterans, Service Members, clinicians, and all brands of first responders,
Kathy Platoni, PsyD, DAAPM, FAIS
COL (RET), US Army – Veteran, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom (JTF-GTMO and Afghanistan)
Member, Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame
Member, Greene County Veterans Hall of Fame